Justice Shaffeyei Shah, presiding in the San Fernando High Court, had ordered the State to pay damages to Kenny Mitchell, of Ste Madeleine, after he was arrested in 2002 and taken to the Princes Town Police Station. There, he was made to strip naked, but Mitchell was never charged with any offence.
Mitchell sued the State for damages and the judge made the award for false imprisonment in a trial in which the State led evidence from the police witnesses who arrested Mitchell. Yesterday, however, attorney Kevin Ratiram filed another false imprisonment lawsuit in the Civil Court, San Fernando, in which Mitchell was arrested on December 9, 2006. He spent three days in the Couva Police Station, but was then told by police officers that a computer error led them to believe that there was a warrant for his arrest.
In his lawsuit, Mitchell stated that at about 9 am he was arrested by police officers at the Couva Police Station. He was told that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The lawsuit stated that Mitchell, who is a maxi taxi driver, told the officers that they had made a mistake. He insisted that they double-check their information, but they refused.
Mitchell stated that he was placed in a cell with prisoners. According to the pleadings filed in court, Mitchell requested police officers to allow his relatives to furnish him with a supply of diabetic medication, but they paid no heed to his request.
The lawsuit went on to state that at about 4.30 pm on December 11, 2006, police officers informed him that a computer error had led them to believe that there was a warrant for his arrest. Mitchell was then released without being charged with any offence.